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Default Jade Empire - Special Edition Preview @ Hooked Gamers

December 19th, 2006, 01:12
@Moriendor

There is no point insisting that graphics and depth are mutually exclusive when the devs themselves say otherwise. Take this quote from this very thread for instance:

Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
1) Art is expensive, and art for side quests is the first thing to get cut when budget stuff happens.
2) VO-dialogue and more complex NPC reactions (changing emotions, gestures, etc) make conversations more labor-intensive, which in turn make conversation-based side-quests more expensive.
Or compare the complexity of say Fallout with any modern RPG. Or how 'thin' Gothic 3's dialogues are compared to Gothic 2's. Note: the word 'thin' came out from the devs themselves. If I recall correctly they said how they sacrificed presentation and made the game 'thin' to achieve an expansive and good looking game world, obviously competing (when they didn't have to imo) Oblivion.
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December 19th, 2006, 01:54
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
@Moriendor

There is no point insisting that graphics and depth are mutually exclusive when the devs themselves say otherwise. Take this quote from this very thread for instance: …

Or compare the complexity of say Fallout with any modern RPG. Or how 'thin' Gothic 3's dialogues are compared to Gothic 2's. Note: the word 'thin' came out from the devs themselves. If I recall correctly they said how they sacrificed presentation and made the game 'thin' to achieve an expansive and good looking game world, obviously competing (when they didn't have to imo) Oblivion.
Well, again: I was talking about games in general. Not just RPGs. But even if we stick to RPGs then -going by what you said- we'd have to assume that *side quests* (what? the number of them? the number of branches? what?) somehow automagically make a game more deep or complex.
That is something that I just can not agree with. For Dhruin it's climbing. For you it's a lot of side quests. For me it's something else. See? Depth or complexity is not the same for everyone.
Regarding your Fallout example, I would immediately disagree that Fallout was complex. How? Why? OK. Great. It did have choices and consequences. So what? Does that alone make it complex? I don't think so. Compared to other games… like Diablo… yes… it's complex… but looking at Fallout "stand-alone"… nah, it's not really that complex at all.

Oh, and as far as Gothic III is concerned, you're quite wrong. Sascha Henrichs of PB wrote in this thread
"No, we have not put less emphasis on the story in favor of graphical improvements. Roughly speaking, we have five different departments in our company: Programming, story, characters/animation, graphics/art, and music. Every one of those departments is free to create a vision of what they want to achieve by the time the game is done [* note how he is regarding every department as an independent entity which happens to concur with what I said above ]. It might appear sometimes as if the story has not quite managed to keep up with the rest of the game but this is not really to blame on the story team but much more on us level designers. We simply made the world too large and to top it all off, our 3 (yes, THREE) story designers just ran out of time towards the end of development."
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December 19th, 2006, 02:23
@Moriendor

Well they've said it: made the world too large and story couldn't keep up. Anyway this is not the post I had in mind. It was Mike I think who said that one of the game's major problems is that it is too thin and that the important characters are not presented properly; it is posted in WoG.

I didn't say that lots of side quests is depth (although PB seems to like lots of side quests). I was merely making an example. By generalizing my example (or other people's) you just commit a logical error.

What makes Fallout complex? The sheer amount of ways in which you can complete quests; how your choices affect the game world; multiple endings per location etc etc

But if you don't like this example take any old school RPG. You must be blind not to admit that modern RPGs have lost in complexity and instead gained in the arts department. In a similar manner strategy games lost in complexity when they became real time. The most complex strategy game of all -chess- is turn based.
Last edited by Lethal Weapon; December 19th, 2006 at 03:11.
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December 19th, 2006, 10:41
Moriendor
"Games and movies are totally different media."
"Games and movies are an audio/visual experience with games having just one more component which is user input."
You seem to be contradicting yourself and agreeing with me, though.
Maybe I wasn't specific enough and certainly never suggested that Golfers would become tennis players, well unless they RPG one in a PC tennis game.

I was trying to mention the fusion of technology which was spawned from the movie industry to the game industry because games are the next evolution in Media due to the interactivity.
In 10 years certainly games and game technology will have take vast majority of movie revenues, especially in the entertainment and educational venues.

Of course better graphics do matter but aren't necessary, who wouldn't take the exact same game maybe 10 years old with much more modern graphics?
Why then are maybe Ultima games being remade and countless others when it's possible?

Hell if it wasn't for the bastards at EA System Shock 2 would be updated now with another newer engine.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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December 19th, 2006, 22:02
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
@Moriendor

Well they've said it: made the world too large and story couldn't keep up.
Erm… back to basics for a minute… the point that we (or I at least) was arguing about was that I find it silly of people to say that developers intentionally prioritize shiny graphics over the complexity of their game. That's why the advancement in graphics and the "dumbing down" of games should be viewed as independent entities with no causal interrlation IMHO.
The above statement has absolutely nothing to do with that. Yes. They made the world too large and ran out of time to fill it with content. How does that have anything to do with the topic that we were discussing? Look at what Sascha Henrichs of PB said. He said that they did not prioritize graphics over story. Sorry that he's supporting my view but that's his fault, not mine .

Anyway this is not the post I had in mind. It was Mike I think who said that one of the game's major problems is that it is too thin and that the important characters are not presented properly; it is posted in WoG.
Yep. He said that. So what? How does it contradict anything that I said? How does it contradict the statement of Sascha Henrichs? It doesn't. It doesn't say anywhere that art/graphics or making the game shiny was the culprit that "stole" the resources or time away that was needed for the story. PB Mike gave other reasons in his posts (among them that a few of those design decisions regarding the NPCs and story were made 100% intentional BTW).

But if you don't like this example take any old school RPG. You must be blind not to admit that modern RPGs have lost in complexity and instead gained in the arts department.
Hehe… once again I'm the wrong target here. Not only do I "admit" that modern RPGs have lost in complexity and gained in the arts department but I have effectively written a little essay about just that very topic above . All I'm saying is that these both things are not interrelated IMHO. Yes, both things happen but for totally different reasons and I find it silly of people to yell at developers for graphical advancements in games. It's a natural progression that graphics get better but to construe a relationship between better graphics and less complexity seems very questionable to me. That was my point.
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December 20th, 2006, 05:56
Sorry, Mo. I still completely disagree. I only used climbing as a broad example - I don't really care if climbing is in a specific game at all.

When Sascha said they didn't prioritise graphics over story, I'm sure he is right in the context he means it. But, in a broader context (and I can pull quotes from people like BioWare's David Gaider pretty easily) a whole bunch of ideas never even make it close to implementation because the technical lead ruled them out as impractical in the first place. So, they didn't deliberately prioritise the graphics but they knew from the outset that they were aiming for a certain (high) level of graphics and that meant automatic limits on the production of art assets.

A simple example. If you have text-only dialogue, it's going to take "X" hours for the designers to create the dialogue trees. Add advanced facial emotions/animations and you immediately add more expense - someone has to implement it. That expense will always put limits on the dialogue trees.

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December 21st, 2006, 02:41
OK, then we might have to agree to disagree . On a final note, I'd say though that there should be absolutely nothing preventing even a David Gaider and BioWare from making a deep and complex game with awesome graphics *if* those guys would stop aiming for producing boring epics and if they would instead focus on creating shorter, richer, deeper, more meaningful games with a more compact world filled with life.

Also, let us not forget that game development is constantly evolving. Middleware like SpeedTree for example removes the necessity to handcraft every bush and every tree so despite the general increase of work that must be put into the art, there are on the other hand definitely advancements in technology that help reduce the work load. Whether the in-house tools of a developer, the middleware or whatever other advancements manage to outweigh the increased demand for HQ art assets… I dunno. Lack of insight here, admittedly.

However, I'm 100% sure that it wouldn't be too hard to create an awesome looking *and* deep and complex RPG with proper project management and if you're flexible in the goals that you want to achieve, i.e. maybe a company should not begin development with a firm commitment to creating a 100+ hour epic but instead focus on the core game and see how it goes from there.

Finally, I'm also very certain that the advancements in technology will eventually lead to (the possibility/the potential of) deeper and more complex games. Why? Well, I can't wait for physics to get properly implemented in games. That alone is going to add a whole new dimension to games with an awesome potential for a richer gameplay experience. Just think about the possibilities of physics coupled with features from the Portal game that is currently in development by/for Valve.
That potential just needs to be used. That's the only problem. No one is daring to use it because of the fear of failing in the "mass market" department.
Luckily there are still a few games that prove that deep/complex games do have a chance to be profitable (like Company of Heroes or NWN 2 if we consider the underlying ruleset as reason enough to call it complex). Publishers just need to take more chances but that's easy for me to say since it's not my millions of $$$ that are getting flushed down the toilet if betting on the wrong horse .
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